Think Before Sharing That Link

Learning to share is an important early-life skill. Now, you've mastered it, and you're out in the workforce. Happily, digital technology makes it much easier to share business files, but that doesn't mean you want to do so willy-nilly. Consider these best practices for sharing with both internal and external users. Cloud sharing makes it simple to...
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On-premises Software “Ownership” vs. The Cloud

 Cloud computing is common in business. Yet there are some who remain sceptical. One of the sticking points is that the business doesn't own the software it is using in the cloud. This can cause concern, but this article helps you weigh up the options. Your business has two choices really. Buy a software package and install it on your devices,...
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Is the Cloud Right for Your Business?

 Is Cloud Migration Right for your Business? Cloud services have been shaking up the industry for years now, and its adoption by small and mid-sized businesses is driving cloud computing's growth. Yet while there are many benefits to migrating to the cloud, it isn't the solution for every situation. This article will explore some reasons why y...
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How to Free Up IT Resources

Business success comes from capitalizing on opportunities, except it is harder to do so if you are resource-constrained. This article explores ways to free up IT resources to drive productivity and evolution. Your business depends on information technology resources. The right software can help manage expanding workloads and improve collaboration. ...
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What Not to Do on a Work Computer

Working from home has its advantages but can also blur the line between professional and personal time. Plus, employees may grow more relaxed about what they do on their work computer while remote. This article shares things employees should avoid doing on work computers, whether remote or in the office. What to avoid doing when working remotely Lo...
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7 Things Lawyers Gain from Workflow Automation

 

There is always information being collected and shared at a law firm. Files go between employees and back and forth among clients, too, and these can contain critical data. One mistake could cost the firm money – and reputation. Workflow automation technology tackles document sharing and data collection to offer several benefits.

#1 Improved accuracy

Collecting information using workflow automation saves a menial task. The client entering the data saves the paralegal manually, keying it in from a paper form. This also cuts the back and forth over email or time spent on phone calls confirming intake details. Plus, there is less risk of a mistake in the data entry.

 

#2 Greater productivity

Some software notifies the lawyer or associate a document is ready for review. The firm can even set up reminders to ensure timely document processing. The software may integrate with billable hours tracking to enhance time-spent analysis.

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It’s Who You Know: Verifying Identity at Law Firms

Trusting identity is foundational to a law firm’s work. In a law office, the documents going back and forth contain sensitive information, and contracts, negotiations, or transactions can't be shared with the wrong parties. The industry needs to be cautious about validating identities.

Legal service providers need to achieve compliance and protect clients and their assets. Techniques are changing as lawyers move from in-person conferences to digital document exchange. This article examines four digital-age areas in which lawyers need to validate identity.

#1 Phishing Scams

Phishing is always a risk, no matter the industry. Paralegals, associates, and lawyers risk inadvertently clicking on malware, especially as this field relies heavily on attached documents going back and forth.

A cybercriminal criminal might steal money copying a vendor’s invoices. Everything looks the same, but payment details put the dollars in the crook's bank account. Or they will send an “urgent” message containing a link that goes to a Web page that looks credible. It might seem to be from a bank or the government, but one character in the URL is different. Those who don’t notice the difference will enter sensitive account details into a form that goes to the bad guy.

Verification tip: Firm-wide filters can check for malicious attachments before they reach people. Educate employees about always verifying the URL before clicking on a link. Hovering over the highlighted text will show the address where a click will take the user.

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Pivoting to the Practice of Virtual Law

 

The law profession has been slow to embrace virtual work. It’s a people-oriented business, and there is great reliance on sensitive files and court documents, yet the pandemic pushed lawyers – and the rest of us – to embrace more digital technology.

 

 

Sure, lawyers were using mobile devices before. They worked in satellite offices, on-site with clients, or from home. Still, the profession’s traditionalists were loathing putting paperwork online or meeting virtually. Now they have to do so.

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Why Law Firms Need Managed Services

The law industry isn’t known for embracing change quickly: tradition can trump a willingness to embrace new technologies. Yet digital technology has become an essential part of many lawyers' working day. Partnering with a managed service provider (MSP) provides support and enhanced cybersecurity during this evolution.

Lawyers Rely on Technology Today to:

  • communicate with colleagues and clients;
  • exchange documents;
  • schedule events and share calendars;
  • research precedent and legal issues;
  • streamline file management;
  • automate menial tasks;
  • track billable hours;
  • invoice clients and pay vendors;
  • access information from mobile devices, when and where needed;
  • virtually conference during the pandemic.

Now, imagine the disruption if that tech-savvy firm’s systems went down, even just for a few hours. No, this is not an argument to return to paper-pushing and the old-school methods; it’s a reminder that you need an IT expert at the ready in case something goes wrong. Plus, an MSP can manage and watch systems to help prevent the worst.

The MSP Solution

Legal service provider clients expect digital proficiency. They want to schedule appointments online; they want to upload documents to the cloud instead of coming into the office; they are looking to provide digital signatures and pay securely online. The MSP can set up software to meet customer expectations without risking compliance or cybersecurity.

An MSP with experience in the legal industry can also boost competitive advantage. These IT experts can identify opportunities to improve productivity. It may be a faster network or computer upgrades, or you may benefit from improving software integrations and adopting better collaboration tools. The MSP’s initial tech review may also save you money. They'll identify where you are overpaying or places to streamline software licenses.

Also, on the financial front, the law firm can enjoy a consistent budget line item working with an MSP. Instead of waiting for something to break and then looking for someone to fix it, you’ll have expert ITs on call, which can reduce costly downtime. Better still, the MSP will take preventative action to avoid that downtime in the first place. This includes keeping your antivirus and security updated and checking technological asset health.

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How to Protect Your Proprietary Information

 

Proprietary information makes your business special, whether you’re a tech startup with a smart algorithm or a food manufacturer with a secret sauce. Regardless of industry, business gains competitive advantage from distinct practices or unique data. The last thing you want is someone with ill intent getting their hands on your differentiators. Here’s how to protect your proprietary information.

 

Protecting proprietary Information

 

We all know cybercriminals are trying to gain unauthorized access to your computers. Most attention is on hackers stealing personal data, or malware attacks that render computers useless unless a ransom is paid. Other prime reasons bad actors seek out technology vulnerabilities are for corporate espionage or to make a buck selling your proprietary information to the highest bidder.

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Increase Productivity with Microsoft Power Automate

 

 

Productivity is the great goal of business. If you’re a Microsoft 365 user, you have access to a tool that can easily increase your process efficiency. Here’s what you need to know about Microsoft’s Power Automate.

 

 

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Making Technology Easier for Seniors

 

 

The pandemic has changed the world. More people have been pushed online in new ways, and for senior citizens this can be particularly challenging. Even registering for a COVID-19 vaccination requires going online in many countries. Plus, social gatherings and other appointments have gone virtual. Don't add to a seniors' social distance. Here's how we can help seniors with their technology needs.


 

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The Value of Virtual Machines for Your Business

 

 

You invest a lot of time researching the best technology for your business. Your Apple computers work well for your needs, plus, the sleek desktops look great in client-visible locations. Yet occasionally, something comes up that you can’t do on an iMac. It doesn’t work on the Mac operating systems (OSs); only on Windows. That’s where a virtual machine can come in handy.


 

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Doing Business in Microsoft 365? Backup Your Data

 

 

Many business tools are moving to the cloud. One popular option is Microsoft 365, formerly known as Office 365. This unified platform consolidates Excel, Word, and PowerPoint with collaboration and communication tools. Added apps and services help streamline operations, too. Simplifying your IT infrastructure can also cut costs and reduce duplication of effort. Still, when you’re leveraging the convenience of Microsoft 365, data backup is your job.


 

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Microsoft 365 Streamlines Business and Reduces Spend

 

 

When doing business online, you have many options for available software and systems. You might turn to one solution to handle online meetings, another to drive collaboration, and yet another to manage your content and workflow. It can get confusing. Plus, when you are duplicating tools, IT spend can mushroom unnecessarily. Microsoft 365 aims to offer a single, all-in-one solution. This article highlights the benefits of streamlining your software needs.


 

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When was the last time you backed up your computer documents?

 

 

While we are all been asked to work at home to prevent the spread of COVID19, backing up your computer is now more important than ever. Should anything happen would you or your business be able to keep working?


 

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World Backup Day


Don't be an April Fool.  Ensure your files are all backed up!







WHAT IS A BACKUP?




A data back up is a second copy of all your important files — for example, your family photos, home videos, documents and emails.




Instead of storing it all in one place (like your computer, like the vast majority of users do), you keep another copy of everything somewhere safe.




ALRIGHT, I GET IT




BUT WHY SHOULD YOU BACKUP?




Losing your files is far more common than you’d think.

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Oh no… not another video call… but actually it’ll help your team


When did you last see each member of your team, face to face? With everything as it is, it’s probably been some time. But are you still keeping in touch?




Social distancing does not mean you have to be alone with today's technology.



Motivation is key to getting a job done well. So if any of your people are feeling invisible or overlooked, they may not be working as efficiently as they normally do.




Equally, it could be affecting their mental health, too.




We recommend you schedule regular video meetings with your team both as a group, and individually as well.




Don’t forget that coaching, development, and performance reviews shouldn’t grind to a halt just because you’re not all in your usual office.

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7 Benefits of Cloud Computing for Accountants


The public cloud services market has grown dramatically, and, according to Gartner, migrating to the cloud is a top priority for a third of companies. Analysts predicted the market would reach $266 billion in 2020. Accountants enjoy cloud computing, too. This article rounds up the advantages of available cloud services.







Cloud computing can help accountants:




  • improve productivity;
  • empower employees;
  • optimize operations;
  • reduce operating costs;
  • backup better;
  • scale effectively;
  • add security.



Let’s talk about each of these in greater detail.




#1 Improve productivity




Cloud computing centralizes access. Files are available on any connected device, in real time. Avoid version control concerns as files pass among your team members or between you and the client. Everyone can work on the most recent file that is instantly updated in the cloud. The files are accessible on other devices if needed, too.




#2 Empower employees




The cloud enables on-demand access to computing resources. This includes software, networks, servers, and storage applications. Accountants can work from wherever they are, on their own timetable, from their own devices. With the widespread adoption of remote work, cloud services have become even more appealing.

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E-accounting: Top 3 Considerations for Online Client Meetings


Many businesses were teleconferencing before COVID-19. After all, meeting virtually saves both you and your client time, and busy business owners often don’t want to spend the time to make a trip to your office. The coronavirus has hastened the move to e-accounting, but this approach presents some new problems, which we’ll address in this article.







#1 Speed




First, let’s consider speed. You may have a promised internet speed such as “up to 15 Mbps.” But internet connection speed, which impacts your experience, reflects bandwidth and latency. Bandwidth is the amount of data transferred per second, whereas latency is how long it takes for that data to get from source to destination. You need both to be good to be able to handle many video calls at once. Yet a lot of consumer-grade hardware is not built for several of your staff to be on the same call with a client.




Tip: Switch to a business-grade router. Optimize its settings to ensure security from bandwidth leeches and improve signal strength.




#2 Quality of Service




Large downloads can also impact your connection with a client or team member. If you’re on a video call and someone else in the office downloads a large file, your call could lag or drop. Likewise, if you’re working from home during a conference call and your teen is playing Grand Theft Auto, that could also cause issues.




Tip: Use smart networking hardware. You can rank the activities your business values more to improve Quality of Service (e.g. configuring video conferencing to take data preference ahead of file downloads).

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